By comparing unsaturated fats, saturated fat, and trans fats, we find that although they have the same amount of calories, they are not all created equal. Since we cannot live without them, we should make educated choices as to how unsaturated fats, saturated fat, and trans fats compare, and identify which ones to look for on the ingredient label and which to avoid.

Can We Eliminate All Fats From Our Diet?

First, let's start by asking: would we be better off, as many weight-loss diets suggest, eliminating all fats just to be safe? No, because we need some fat in our diet to help the body absorb certain nutrients, such as fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fats also provide linoleic acid and essential fatty acid for growth and metabolism. Plus, fat adds flavor to foods and makes us feel fuller. So let us examine the three basics fats, and point out the advantages and disadvantages.

1. Unsaturated Fats (the good).

Derived from vegetables and plants, unsaturated fats can be found as monounsaturated fats in olives, olive oil, nuts, peanut oil, and avocados, and as polyunsaturated fats in safflower, sesame, corn, cottonseed, and soybean oils. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in cold-water fish, flaxseed, soy, and walnuts, are critical for health, are also in the beneficial category, and are found to help our immune system. Unsaturated fats are the ones to look for on the label.

2. Saturated Fat (the bad).

Derived from animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs, and other products, saturated fat will be solid at room temperature. There is a whole lot of gray area when it comes to saturated fat, with much having to do with their molecular structure, which we (thankfully) will not get into here. They directly raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and clog arteries, which leads to many different health issues. But they also help facilitate the absorption of Vitamin D, which incorporates calcium in the bones, as well as brain cell maintenance, and protection of the liver from toxins, infectious disease prevention, and as with unsaturated fats assists in fat-soluble vitamins absorption. Quite obviously there are no clear-cut statements, other than we shouldn't or couldn't eliminate saturated fat from a well-rounded diet if we wanted to, but it is one area that we must maintain moderation.

3. Trans Fats (the ugly).

There is not too much good that can be said for these guys. Forty percent of our supermarket's shelves are stocked with products that contain trans fats and anything that is processed, baked, or fried will have them in their ingredients. New York City has tried to legislate trans fats out of all foods, and McDonald's has been able to virtually eliminate them from their food. But they extend product shelf life, and they make food taste so much better. However, the costs of trans fats are enormous. Studies have shown the link with trans fats and abdominal fat gain and in some cases, body fat was redistributed to the stomach. Even low-calorie diets can produce weight gain if those calories come from trans fats. They are not natural but are manufactured when liquid oils are turned into solid fats like shortening and hard margarine by adding hydrogen.

In order to be certain how you control your intake of fats, you must get good at two things: learn how to read labels and what those strange-sounding ingredients are, and prepare more meals at home. There is a third way, and it has become more and more popular, and that is the diet meal delivery services that provide complete meals seven days a week. We recommend Diet-to-Go, where you can turn meal planning and preparation over to someone you trust for about $18 per day. There are many other providers as well that are serving this fast-growing industry.

Author's Bio: 

My name’s Sarah Donalds, I’m a blogger interested in health and parenting tips, Visit my Blog: